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WEIDEL v. ASHCROFT

December 24, 2002

RUTH ANN WEIDEL, PLAINTIFF,
V.
JOHN ASHCROFT, DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John M. Facciola, Magistrate Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff claims that she was not offered a position with the Fraud Division in the Department of Justice in retaliation for filing a claim of sexual discrimination against the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Texas. Defendant moves for summary judgment.

FACTS

There is no genuine dispute as to the following facts:

1. Plaintiff, Ruth Ann Weidel, ("Weidel") worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Texas from February, 1997, to June 10, 1997, when she was terminated.

2. On November 21, 1997, Weidel filed an EEO complaint in connection with her termination. She claimed that she was victimized by sexual discrimination in that office.

3. In January, 1998, Weidel applied for a position as a trial attorney in the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division.

4. On June 11, 1998, Mary Spearing, then head of the Fraud Division, sent a memorandum to the acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, requesting approval to hire plaintiff as a trial attorney in the Fraud Section.

5. In a letter dated June 29, 1998, Diane Abbington of the Personnel Programs Staff of the Criminal Division informed plaintiff that she had been tentatively selected for a trial attorney position with the Criminal Division, Fraud Section.

6. At about the same time, the Fraud Section requested a temporary waiver so that plaintiff could begin to work under a 14 month temporary appointment pending the results of her FBI investigation.

7. The Personnel Staff of the Criminal Division contacted Karen Morrissette, Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section, ("Morrissette") to inquire whether the Fraud Division was aware of plaintiff's termination by the United States Atttorney's Office in Texas. Morrissette responded that she was.

8. Morrissette contacted Greg Serres, the First Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, who criticized Weidel's ability to get along with other people and declined to recommend her for employment by the Fraud Division. He described her performance as a "disaster." Government Exhibit 14 at 2.

9. On August 10, 1998, Morrissette wrote a memorandum to Sandie Bright, Acting Executive Officer of the Criminal Division, and Joshua Hochberg, the Acting Chief of the Fraud Division, in which she stated: "[W]e do not believe it would be advisable to extend an offer of employment to Ms. Weidel." Government Exhibit 14 at 3.

10. On September 18, 1998, Sandie Bright advised Weidel that the Criminal Division had withdrawn its request to appoint Weidel to a temporary appointment that would have permitted her to join the Fraud Division before her FBI background investigation was completed. Bright said: "That decision to rescind the request is based on your termination from your ...


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